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Happy New Year!  We are on the verge of 2020, a brand-new decade! However, we are still finishing our Christmas sermon series, Don’t Get Run Over by The Reindeer.  Even though the presents are done, you still may be dealing with the problems of “holiday let down.”  Or, if your celebration did not go so well, you may be recovering from the aftermath!  Either way, this sermon will help you recover.  In the sermon, Wounded? we turn to Isaiah 61:1-7.   The people of God were struggling with the darkness of their society and their individual lives.  They are broken, but this is not the last word for any of them or for us!  Jesus uses part of this passage as a commission for his own ministry on earth, because it is a vision of redemption.  As you read Isaiah 61:1-7, allow the Spirit of the Living God to lift you into his care and guide you into the coming year. Isaiah 61:1-7: The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. (NIV)